Acer Q3 profit up from previous year's financial loss, but revenue down

Acer had expected revenue in the quarter to remain flat due to the imminent release of Windows 8

Taiwanese PC maker Acer reported a small profit in the third quarter, after a larger loss a year earlier. However, revenue decreased as the company transitions to selling new PCs running Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system, it said Monday.

Acer's net profit for the third quarter reached NT$68 million (US$2.3 million as of the last day of the period reported), up from the net loss of NT$1.1 billion the company saw in the same period last year.

The company's revenue in the third quarter reached NT$104.4 billion, down 11.4 percent from the NT$117.3 billion reported a year earlier.

Last year, Acer reported back-to-back net losses in the second and third quarter, due to a slowing PC market, with the company also writing off inventory for the Europe, Middle East and Africa market. But since then the company has swung back to profit, although sales in the PC market continue to sag.

Acer had expected revenues in this year's third quarter to remain flat, due to the upcoming release of MIcrosoft's Windows 8, which will launch on Friday. Like its rivals, Acer plans on releasing a whole line of new devices running the OS, including new laptops, tablets and all-in-one PCs.

But in August, Acer CEO J.T. Wang downgraded expectations for the new OS, and stated that the company had yet to see consumer enthusiasm for Windows 8 devices. Acer will see only "medium growth" as a result. Acer's CEO has also been vocal in its opposition against Microsoft's Surface tablet, which will compete against Acer's own tablet devices.

Acer, now the fourth-largest PC vendor, is facing an uphill climb to bring back growth, according to research firm IDC. Like its competitors, Acer is being threatened by the popularity of Apple's iPad, which has taken sales away from notebooks.

In an interview earlier this year, Acer President Jim Wong said the company is re-focusing its efforts on innovation and expects Windows 8 will help usher in new attractive products to consumers.

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